What are essay keywords?
Essay keywords are important words or concepts that will be found in your essay question or thesis. Keywords fall into two basic categories. These categories are:
- Content keywords – Content keywords are words that are what the essays topic is. They tell what the essay is about. Content keywords will either be 1) General topic and 2) Focus with which you will examine a topic
- Directional keywords – Also known as task keywords, these are words that describe how a topic is to be approached
There is a list of common task keywords words that are often used when providing instructions on writing an essay. A student should know what is expected of them when these task keywords are used in the assignment. You may also know more about research on writing tips and guidelines on our site.
Why are keywords important?
Essay keywords are important for two major reasons. The first reason is for the student to know what is specifically being asked of them in an assignment. The use of content keywords will tell what specifically the topic is and what area of the topic should be focused on. Directional or task keywords will tell the student how the topic should be approached. The following are some of the more common task keywords and what they mean:
- Analyze – Find the main ideas; show their relationship, what their function is and why they are important.
- Comment on – Discuss, criticize or explain the meaning.
- Evaluate – Give an assessment of the worth of something or the importance of a concept, including advantages and disadvantages. This could be an assessment from acknowledged experts in the field as well as your own opinion.
- Justify – Give a statement of why you think something is so and provide support for your statement
There are other task keywords that are used aside from the above examples. Both task keywords and content keywords need to be examined for the student to know precisely what is being asked of them. The second reason essay keywords are important is for research.
Essay keywords for topic research
Essay keywords are important in the research of your essay topic. A quick way to determine content keywords is by picking out the important nouns in a thesis statement or question. These are keywords that should be used when doing searches for information. Do the following to get additional research words and terms:
- Make a list of synonyms and related terms for each keyword
- Examine larger categories a keyword may fit into
- Examine more specific examples of keywords
This will provide you with more terms that you can use to search for resource material, and may also provide keywords that you may use yourself in writing your paper. Moreover, you may find some creative writing tips to develop ideas on our site.
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